It’s always nice to just lounge around and enjoy leisure time on one’s favorite couch or do it alfresco on the patio chair. You just want to rest on the soft cushions, hug those plush pillows, and…Uh-oh. What is that moldy and musty smell?!!
Unfortunately, it won’t be a nice experience as it is intended to be. If the cushion smells like mildew, then it most probably has mildew forming already. So much for enjoying leisure time.
The Problems with Mildew
What does mildew smell like? When one starts smelling moldy or musty smell on the couch, sofa, chair cushions, and the likes, especially if it’s the rainy season, chances are there is mildew.
Mildew is a fungus or a form of mold that not only smells but, if not removed, will soon cause discoloration on plants and organic materials. It is a superficial coating, a usually whitish growth that can affect furniture and, yes, cushions. It really is normally not visible to the naked eye except for the white or faded coating.
Aside from ruining the look of various furniture and their accessories, mildew is a health hazard especially to people sensitive to molds as well (allergic, immune-compromised, with chronic lung illnesses). Usually, the more susceptible ones are children and the elderly. More importantly, mildew can cause severe allergic reactions, obstructive lung disease, and upper respiratory tract problems.
Among other things, mildew can cause:
Nasal stuffiness throat irritation coughing or wheezing eye irritation skin irritation difficulty in breathing hypersensitivity pneumonitis asthma attacks aspergillosis aspergilloma
Obviously, mildew is bad news. Nobody should ever be too complacent about its existence in and around the home. It’s time to remove the mildew smell! Do it and that will remove mildew smell altogether.
How to Remove Mildew Smell from Cushions
Render cushions odor-free. What needs to be done is to do a thorough cleaning and air the pads out. Before doing anything, though, first determine if the cushions are of fabric or acrylic material. Then start cleaning.
- One, dilute a 1⁄2 cup of bleach into 1 gallon of water.
- Two, transfer the solution into a spray bottle.
- Finally, apply the bleach on the pillows with a spray bottle.
Concentrate more on the affected areas.
- Clean the mildew off of the cushion with a scrub brush.
- Rinse the cushion well with water.
Be cautious, though. To make sure that the solution does not make things worse, do a spot test. Do the procedure first on small, unnoticeable areas and see how the material will react to the bleach.
If the color fades, then use a less harsh mixture. Replace the bleach with a 1⁄2 cup of Lysol mixed with a gallon of hot water. Finally, for rinsing, dissolve 1 cup lemon juice and 1 cup salt into a gallon of hot water and use the mixture.
- First, dilute 1 cup bleach and 2 cups of detergent into a gallon of water.
- Second, transfer the solution into a spray bottle.
- Lastly, apply the bleach on the pillows with a spray bottle. Again, do a spot test.
If it turns out okay, continue. Concentrate more on the affected areas.
- First, you need to wait for about 30 minutes.
- Then rinse the cushion well with water.
- First, you need to remove spores by vacuuming foam cushions thoroughly. Go over all surfaces.
- Lastly, make sure to replace the vacuum cleaner bag, or with a sponge and mild soapy water,
wash out the cup-style chamber.
- Firstly, replace the vacuum cleaner’s air filter.
- Secondly, place the cushions outdoors. Make sure the weather condition is warm and non-humid.
- Thirdly, Air out the cushions.
- Use a clothesline and clothespins if they are light.
- If they weigh more, place them against chairs, tables, and similar structures.
- Finally, air them out for the whole day. Make sure to rotate them to expose all the sides to air.
If the covers are washable:
- First, remove the covers from the cushions.
- Second, wash the covers with really hot water and laundry detergent. Wash as recommended on the care tag.
If there are visible specks:
- Firstly, mix equal portions of rubbing alcohol and water.
- Finally, use a sponge or soft cloth to wipe visible specks with the solution.
But it’s important to do a spot-test first.
For lingering odors:
- First, fill a spray bottle with vinegar.
- Second, vinegar lightly on cushions.
- Lastly, air-dry the cushions outdoors.
Alternatively, use a cloth to dab vinegar on the cushions. Use just a little amount of vinegar. However, if the air-drying outdoors is not preferred, use a well-ventilated room with lots of daylight coming in.
If the cleaning and ridding of bad odor are successfully done, congratulations. However, it’s not the end of mildew if one is not careful. Be extra vigilant if furniture and cushions are in darker parts of the home or under humid conditions. Mildew and mold tend to grow there, too.
In summary, it is very important to maintain the quality furniture by doing quick cleaning regularly and keeping them dry. Do this and continue to enjoy leisure time.